When companies are looking to incorporate a blog as part of their online marketing then this will involve either integrating the blog into their current website or setting up a separate site using a separate domain name. (More thoughts here on this point)
If the blog and its focus is likely to be complementary to the rest of the website, then the sensible choice will be to integrate the blog into the site itself, ideally at a graphic and functional level. You’ll also want to make sure that the blog reflects your site’s navigation and menu as far as possible while offering the information and connection opportunities that we are, I hope, familiar with by now.
However, what I have seen on numerous occasions is that while the blog is there and complete with links back into the other pages of the website, it does not appear in the main menu of the site. Indeed sometimes, there is no link to it anywhere on the site!
What a waste!
- Great Marketing: Firstly, it is perhaps the cheapest and easiest form of marketing that you have access to for your blog. The visitors to your website form part of your target market and are already likely to be familiar with your company products. The blog should help to enhance that and help to open the dialogue with them so help them find it, wherever they are on your site.
- Have Confidence: it also demonstrates either a lack of thought or a lack of confidence in what the company is doing – if you have spent time in planning your blog (Green Cross Code and then answering the 3 KEY questions especially) and writing it, then have the courage of your convictions, put it out there and link to it! If you don’t think it’s good enough to display your name then re-think your blog, don’t just hide it.
- Consistency: users of websites tend not to like surprises, therefore not knowing that there is a blog but not being able to find it easily will prove highly frustrating for them and result in people leaving the site. Not good for the desired “stickiness” element that most sites look for and that blogs can really help with.
So remember, if you have a blog that you want to work for you, whether it’s for marketing and PR purposes, as part of your customer service or just as an expert information resource, make sure that the links from the rest of your site are visible and strong. It’ll help your readers find you and that will then help you in return.
Tags: Blog Development, Blog Integration, Blog Marketing, Creating Corporate Blogs, Website Navigation